And justice for all

In the midst of a conversation about current events, the comment was made there should be justice for all. There was a fair amount of head nodding after that statement, and then a comment was made about the Minnesota wine we were sipping.

It was said the wine was too tart and harsh tasting to be enjoyable.

That statement seemed harsh and tart to me!

Certainly we’re all entitled to our opinions but let’s not condemn someone or something just because it doesn’t fit our model of what’s perfect. Let’s look at differences as equals…

Wines are different and thank goodness for that. It depends upon there origin, the winemaker’s production methods and what occurred in nature while the grape was growing. Wines should be an equalizer no matter where they are made, their tastes, their aromas or marketing.

During the above conversation, I made these remarks, and for a bit there was silence around the table. Then, we began a polite discussion about the pros and cons of our taste preferences and it was invigorating. The wine became the equalizer for us and we all noted there should be justice for all bottles.

Minnesota has good wines. No, they’re not your comfortable Old World wines (Burgundy, Grenache, Pinot Grigio, etc.) nor are they the warm blooded wines of the West Coast. Nothing against those terrific wines — they are what they are. Good solid wines. But, Minnesota is different.

As you know and to a great extent, our winters make us who we are. It takes a hardy soul to exist here and the grapes that were developed for this area are hardy to withstand the cold. That leads to what the person meant by our state’s wines tasting harsh and tart. Maybe, just maybe, they mirror us?

For instance, Painted Prairie Vineyards located near Currie produces some solid and fine wines. One of my favorites is their Marquette — a noticeably dry red. Yes, it’s in your face but with nice tastes of black cherry, some pepper and a hint of chocolate. It will get your attention and I like it.

Going half way around the world, let’s have a glass of an nice Australian wine — Yellow Tails Cabernet Merlot blend. This wine is gentler to you and will greet your taste buds with some soft tannins, a good amount of cherry at the front end and a smooth almost oaky taste at the finish. How does it compare to the Minnesota Marquette? They’re not in the same category but both are quite welcome.

So let’s compare these two wines to another Minnesota wine from Falconer Vineyards near Red Wing and that being the wineries Frontenac Rosé. This wine is a three times gold medal winner at the Indy International Wine Competition and, that’s not too bad!

As you taste the light fruity strawberry flavor, you’ll be taken away by the semi-sweetness of it and how crisp it finishes. Yes, a Minnesota wine and it’s wonderful!

How about we go to Germany’s Rheinhessen wine growing region and get a bottle of St. Gabriel Riesling? Then, let’s see how it compares to the New World wines in Minnesota.

I’m a bit prejudiced here because I like all Rieslings — no matter where they originate — but Germany has a reputation which is part of its marketing program. Rheinhessen is perfect for Rieslings with its stony soil, steep hillsides and mixture of cool and warm weather.

St. Gabriel’s Riesling is semi-sweet, has a wonderful green apple first taste and finishes with a nice dose of lime — what’s not to like? It pairs nicely with lots of different foods and it’s a delight to drink. Plus, for me, it brings back many peaceful memories.

OK, we’ve gone around the world — starting in Minnesota, going to Australia, then to Germany and back home to Minnesota. What did we learn?

In my mind, we’ve encountered a beverage that satisfies, is enjoyable and is one you can sit down with friends and have a discussion about justice issues.

In my mind, we are like wines. Yes, we have differences — physical, social, religious and places of origin but, and this is important, we are all equal and deserve the same fairness that each wine deserves — no matter our differences.

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!



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